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May 23, 2012 11:26 PM

Social security a hot topic at CD8 debate

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Candidates for a U.S. House seat formerly held by Democrat Gabrielle Giffords differ on what do to keep the Social Security system solvent.

Republican Jesse Kelly and Democrat Ron Barber faced off on that issue and others at a debate Wednesday evening in Tucson.

Kelly said he will protect Social Security benefits already earned but give choices to future generations.

Barber said allowing people to not participate would undermine Social Security's finances and lead to its collapse.

Kelley responded that the United States must not deprive Americans of the freedom to decide whether they should participate.

The election is for the final six months of Giffords' two-year term. She resigned from Congress in January to concentrate on her recovery from a gunshot wound she suffered in 2011.

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